What is a shadow? It is a dark area or shape produced by a body coming between the rays of light and a surface. What does the Bible say about shadows? What do they represent? What characteristics of God can we reinforce, or life principles teach, as we are teaching about shadows?
1. Shadows can trick us and look like things that they are not. The enemy likes to work in the shadows.
* Fear can be created when we imagine shadows to be things they are not. Let God’s light illuminate and shadows disappear!
Judges 9:36 – When Gaal saw them, he said to Zebul, “Look, there are people coming down from the hilltops!” Zebul replied, “It’s just the shadows on the hills that look like men.”
Psalm 11:2 – The wicked are stringing their bows and fitting their arrows on the bowstrings. They shoot from the shadows at those whose hearts are right.
2. Shadows of shame and death – look to Him God is our salvation.
Psalm 34:5 – Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces.
Isaiah 25:7 – There he will remove the cloud of gloom, the shadow of death that hangs over the earth.
Matthew 4:16 – the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light. And for those who lived in the land where death casts its shadow, a light has shined.”
Luke 1:79 – to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.”
3. Shadows have been used as a sun dial.
* Shadows lengthen when the sun is in the morning or evening. When the sun is right above us, the shadow is the shortest, so it is when we let God’s light shine fully upon us
2 Kings 20:9-11:9 – The story of Hezekiah and the extending of his life.
Ecclesiastes 8:13 – The wicked will not prosper, for they do not fear God. Their days will never grow long like the evening shadows.
Isaiah 38:8 – I will cause the sun’s shadow to move ten steps backward on the sundial of Ahaz!’” So the shadow on the sundial moved backward ten steps.
Jeremiah 6:4 – They shout, ‘Prepare for battle! Attack at noon!’ ‘No, it’s too late; the day is fading, and the evening shadows are falling.’
Song of Solomon 2:17 – Before the dawn breezes blow and the night shadows flee, return to me, my love, like a gazelle or a young stag on the rugged mountains.
Song of Solomon 4:6 – Before the dawn breezes blow and the night shadows flee, I will hurry to the mountain of myrrh and to the hill of frankincense.
4. Our lives are likened to a shadow, here one day and gone the next.
* Shadows remind us of the fleeting nature of life as can be seen when the sun goes behind the clouds, how quickly our shadow disappears. We are just visitors in this life – so live with an eternal perspective, don’t get distracted by this world, but influence it too for eternity. We only have one chance here, let’s live life for Christ!
1 Chronicles 29:15 – We are here for only a moment, visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us. Our days on earth are like a passing shadow, gone so soon without a trace.
Job 8:9 – For we were born but yesterday and know nothing. Our days on earth are as fleeting as a shadow.
Job 14:2 – We blossom like a flower and then wither. Like a passing shadow, we quickly disappear.
Psalm 39:6 – We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it.
Psalm 102:11 – My life passes as swiftly as the evening shadows. I am withering away like grass.
Psalm 109:23 – I am fading like a shadow at dusk; I am brushed off like a locust.
Psalm 144:4 – For they are like a breath of air; their days are like a passing shadow.
Ecclesiastes 6:12 – In the few days of our meaningless lives, who knows how our days can best be spent? Our lives are like a shadow. Who can tell what will happen on this earth after we are gone?
5. There is a great shadow to have refuge in – in the shadow of God’s wings.
*The best place to be when times are hard, is to hide yourself in the shadows of God’s wings, a beautiful picture, like a bird nestles its chicks in her feathers, so God wants to hide us in His love and know His comfort in times of trouble.
Psalm 17:8 – Guard me as you would guard your own eyes. Hide me in the shadow of your wings.
Psalm 36:7 – How precious is your unfailing love, O God! All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings.
Psalm 57:1 – Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy! I look to you for protection. I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings until the danger passes by.
Psalm 63:7 – Because you are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings.
Psalm 91:1 – Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
Isaiah 49:2 – He made my words of judgment as sharp as a sword. He has hidden me in the shadow of his hand. I am like a sharp arrow in his quiver.
6. God is light – He does not change as a shadow does
James 1:17 – Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.
7. When we go through hard times, shadows… God promises to be our Good Shepherd and to see us through.
* Read Psalm 23… surely goodness and mercy shall follow you all the days of your life!
8. Bring relief to our generation, like a shadow from the scorching heat of life’s troubles – through the empowering Spirit of God.
Isaiah 32:2 – Each one will be like a shelter from the wind and a refuge from the storm, like streams of water in the desert and the shadow of a great rock in a parched land.
Acts 5:15 – As a result of the apostles’ work, sick people were brought out into the streets on beds and mats so that Peter’s shadow might fall across some of them as he went by.
9. The Law was a shadow, like a pattern of that to come
Colossians 2:17 – For these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come. And Christ himself is that reality.
Hebrews 8:5 – They serve in a system of worship that is only a copy, a shadow of the real one in heaven. For when Moses was getting ready to build the Tabernacle, God gave him this warning: “Be sure that you make everything according to the pattern I have shown you here on the mountain.”
Hebrews 10:1 – [ Christ’s Sacrifice Once for All ] The old system under the law of Moses was only a shadow, a dim preview of the good things to come, not the good things themselves. The sacrifices under that system were repeated again and again, year after year, but they were never able to provide perfect cleansing for those who came to worship.
Hebrews 10 [Full Chapter] – [ Christ’s Sacrifice Once for All ] The old system under the law of Moses was only a shadow, a dim preview of the good things to come, not the good things themselves. The sacrifices under that system were repeated again and again, year after year, but they were never able to provide perfect cleansing for those who came to worship. If they could have provided perfect cleansing, the sacrifices would have stopped, for the worshipers would have been purified once for all time, and their feelings of guilt would have disappeared. But instead, those sacrifices actually reminded them of their sins year after year. …
Here is a story. A girl was walking down the beach, the sun was beating on her back, and a large shadow of herself was stretched in front of her. The day before she had bought a new hat, and as she walked along she was reflecting on how big that hat looked on her and wondered if it really suited her. As she looked around her, she saw other people walking towards her, as they walked the opposite way along the beach, their faces were bright and she could compare herself with them.
God started to speak to her. Where is the sun right now? She reflected how it was behind her. God encouraged her to turn around to face the sun. As she walked along the beach in the opposite direction, she noticed two things. Firstly, those walking in the opposite direction now looked like black shadows as the sun shone behind them. Secondly, her own shadow had now disappeared and she could no longer see the reflection of her large hat super imposed on the sand below her.
Moral of the story: God then encouraged her… As you walk your life with your face towards me, all of your cares and the things that you usually would concern yourself with disappear like the shadow did in front of you, as you hand them over to me. Secondly, the people that you once compared yourself with now are seen through my eyes. Souls in need of Christ, each individual people that God loves and cares for.
She smiled, and thanked God that day what she had learnt from walking along the beach and seeing her shadow 🙂